Thursday, June 24, 2010

More on Napoli Café & Wine Bar

Here's excerpts of a piece on the newly opened Napoli Café by Doug Noble written for the Mountain Democrat. You can read the full article here.

I hope some of you will join me at their Grand Opening party tomorrow night!!

"Everyone is smiling and happy at Napoli Cafe"

On my way home last Thursday from Carmichael, after a wonderful day with my grandchildren, I pulled off the highway at Cameron Park and drove to the newest restaurant in the area, Napoli Café and Wine Bar, which is located at 3275 Coach Lane, the former location of Redbud Café. It was pouring rain, so I thought the café might not be crowded and I would have a chance to chat a bit. Wrong. Just finding a nearby parking place was difficult.

As I dashed to the entrance, a young man opened the door and said, “Welcome.” I told him who I was and one of the smiling servers offered to fill me in on the restaurant, which has been open less than a month, while they looked for the manager. In a few minutes I was greeted by a gentleman in a black chef's jacket, the owner and executive chef, Bill Bartok. Soon his wife and co-owner of the restaurant, Gina Bartok, joined us and we had quite a nice conversation.

My first comment to them was that everyone in their quite busy place — guests and employees — were happy and smiling. Bill pointed out to me their motto on the door, which says, “Laughter is brightest where food is best.” “That is the way we want it to be,” he said.

The Bartoks have lived in Rescue for two years. Prior to that they lived for several years in El Dorado Hills. “I love horses,” said Gina with a big smile, “I always had to board them. Now we have a home in Rescue with enough acreage so that I can keep them.”

Bill worked for Merrill-Lynch for 15 years, but always had a passion to own a restaurant. “I can make up recipes and taste food and wine in my head,” said Bill. “When the stock market business got a bit crazy Gina and I decided it was the right time to make the move. To prepare myself, I spent a year at the Napoli Culinary Academy in Sacramento.

“Late last year when I saw this place was vacant, I thought it would be a great location for me to fulfill my passion. When I was ready, it was still available, so here we are.

“We cook good food great,” explained Bill. “We offer fresh Italian and American cuisine with wholesome and savory entrées, hand-tossed salads and signature specials in a warm and welcoming environment. We have retained the wood-fired oven and make outstanding pizza from scratch. Actually, everything is from scratch. We use the freshest ingredients available in all our dishes and on our pizza. Our pizza dough is cold-proofed for 24 hours so that when it enters the oven it starts rising. And we even grate our own cheese, of which we use three.

“Consistency is important to us, so all of our kitchen staff cook the dishes the same way I do it. When you come in, the dish will be the same each time. If it isn't, we want to know about it. The people who work for us are really not employees, we are a team. When the restaurant profits, our team will also profit.”

The menu at Napoli Café and Wine Bar (which you can view at if you would like to follow along) is still being fine tuned. I can only touch on some of the dishes, but you should know that there is nothing plain. Everything has the chef's unique touch in a special sauce or preparation.

The children's menu was designed by their 10 year old daughter, Lexy, who also has come up with a new appetizer. Their 16 year old daughter, Breanne, can be found working among the smiling servers.

Like in the café, in the wine bar you can enjoy a taste, glass or bottle of wine from an outstanding wine list, which is mostly local. You can also get an appetizer, pizza or small entrée from the café. Wednesday is “Women In Need Of Spirits (WINOS) Night.” All ladies receive 20 percent off appetizers and six ounces of wine by the glass between 5 and 8 p.m. When professional football starts, Monday Night Football will begin with a similar special menu.

Napoli Café and Wine Bar is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed on Monday. For more information call 530-676-2233.

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